Dona Omnia Pacem
By John Bonney of Springfield, OR, USA
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. —Isaiah 35:5–6 NRSV
“Lord, I am blind, I do not see…” At least, I do not see often enough. In our self-absorbed lives, there is much we miss, even when it is right in the open, available for our senses to appreciate. But I get ahead of myself, and maybe that is one reason I do not see.
Before 3:30 in the morning I am out walking the neighborhood streets. I like walking in the dark. It is quiet with few distractions. Even in nasty weather, those predawn hours carry the essence of their peace and blessing. It is a time when I often see that which I otherwise would not see.
Because it is dark, I wear a headlamp and a reflective vest. It is a different world, bathed in street lights, sometimes starlight or moonlight, and my headlamp. In that light, I have noticed there is a low-growing evergreen bush, perhaps juniper or cypress, planted along the curb. It is densely compact and grows no more than six inches high. If I were walking during the light of day, I might not see the plant, much less remark on it. In the moonlight it has its presence and its peculiar beauty—a humble evergreen.
In the hours before dawn, there is a transformation that takes my breath away. If it has recently rained or formed a heavy dew, the moisture anoints the plants with a shimmering coat. Tiny light-reflecting droplets cover the entire plant. There, in the artificial light of my headlamp, these humble, everyday plants alter in visual presentation and become a lovely, silvery blue. As I see this remarkable change, I sense it is not an aggressive, changing feature—not at all. It is a gentle glowing as if the plants were an instrument of silent visual blessing.
I cannot help but believe that we too, as humans, also can reflect the vibrant touch of the Creative Presence. We too, at times, bask in the life-giving and life-reflecting nature of who and what we are. This reflection causes us, our ordinary selves, to glow as does the evergreen plant in the moisture of a new day.
The mind-mystifying love of Divine Presence touches us with the dew of creative love and light and reflects eternity. In those moments it could be a plant or a person, a baby’s face, running water, or a graceful flower. My inner mind hears the quiet melody of a song, “Dona Nobis Pacem.” However, not just dona nobis pacem (grant us peace), rather dona omnia pacem (grant all peace).
Prayer for Peace
Creative Presence, stun us and cause us to see your reflection in the ordinary. Bathe us in your Divine light that we may also see ourselves and what you created us to be. May we, all of us, know your peace.
Spiritual Practice: Music for Meditation
Identify a form of music for meditation. If hearing music is not an option, choose a song you can sing or play on a musical instrument. Choose music that carries a soulful, spiritual, or healing quality for you. Sit quietly and soak in the melody and resonance. Allow healing waves of sound to pierce body, spirit, and emotions. What do you feel or see as you listen? Does the music have colors? What spiritual message comes? How does the music restore, nurture, heal, or move you to compassionate response?
Today, God, I will stop to see more clearly that upon which your light shines, and take note of where I can shine needed light.